Simon Hughes: Who Wants to be a Batsman? Book Review

I’ll be honest, I’ve never been a huge fan of Simon Hughes and this book has done nothing to alter that. The writing is a little too self-indulgent for my liking. In Hughes’ defence, it’s obviously understandable that he should be inking based on his own experiences.

Hughes is clearly obsessed with Mark Ramprakash and of course he’s not alone in being so. The author also seems particularly keen to raise the profile of his daughter, a very talented cricketer according to Hughes’ unbiased opinion!

In amongst the drivel are a couple of really insightful passages, which in a perverse way are what make this book disappointing. By that I mean you must plough through a chapter or two to find interesting content. I’m possibly being a little harsh but Hughes’ onscreen persona has never endeared himself to me. He joins the long list of analysers who confirm that to have played the game doesn’t automatically make you an insightful pundit!

That said, I’ll repeat that there are one or two profound insights amongst the pages and all this adds up to a Silly Point score of…

Stumped on 59!

Chewin’ the Fat Over Chewing Gum

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Victoria batsman Will Pucovski recently retired hurt from a Sheffield Shield match after being hit on the head by a delivery from New South Wales quick bowler Sean Abbott.

https://www.cricket.com.au/video/will-pucovski-concussion-sean-abbott-bowler-victoria-nsw-blues-sheffield-shield-junction-oval/2018-03-04

Pucovski has a bit of a track record for getting hit and of course for Abbott, the bowler of the delivery that tragically terminated Phillip Hughes’ life, it must have been particularly distressing.

Former England batsman Mark Ramprakash would chew gum when batting and if he was not out overnight, he would stick the gum to the top of the bat handle then carry on chewing it the following morning. I’ve previously written about why I think all players should where a helmet when batting even if the spinners are on.

https://sillypointcricketsite.wordpress.com/2017/04/16/have-to-have-a-helmet/

At the risk of drawing you to the obvious, I don’t think any athlete should chew gum when playing sport.

Imagine a batsman is at the crease and is chewing gum, they get hit by the ball or even when diving for the crease they accidentally allow the gum to fall down the back of the throat. It could become lodged and they could choke. The other players and medical team might not be aware that the player was chewing gum. It may seem like one of those once in a blue moon scenarios but it could happen and it’s just not worth the risk.

In football (Soccer), a player chewing gum may jump for the ball, get a knock to the head from an opposition player and choke on their gum. It’s just not worth the risk. Is the gum enhancing the player’s performance? No!